Optimizing Gene Expression with Yoga

Did You Know… that certain yoga and yogic breathing techniques allow you to transform yourself at the molecular level?

A groundbreaking new Norwegian study just proved something remarkable: yoga can instantaneously improve your health from the molecular level up.

Researchers first discovered that yoga alters genetic expression in another remarkable study five years ago.  But this new study, carried out by researchers from the University of Oslo and published in PLOS ONE, takes those earlier findings even farther by showing that “previously reported (therapeutic) effects of yoga practices have an integral physiological component at the molecular level, which is initiated immediately during practice.

How Yoga Transforms Your Genes 

The research team, led by Fahri Saatcioglu, found that yoga’s effect on gene expression is linked to the body’s immune system.  For the experiment, 10 participants attended a week-long relaxation retreat in Germany.  Over the course of the retreat, participants tried two different methods of relaxation for two hours each day.  The first was a comprehensive yoga program, which included…

  Yogic postures (asanas)
  Breathing exercises

For the second method, participants took an hour-long nature walk followed by an hour spent listening to either jazz or classical music.

The research team collected blood samples from participants immediately prior to and after every relaxation session.  To measure the effect of the two methods on gene expression, researchers isolated and analyzed peripheral blood mononuclear cells, circulating cells crucial for optimal immune system function.

Yoga Far More Powerful than
Other Relaxation Methods

Testing showed nature walk and music-stimulated relaxation changed the expression of 38 genes.  Yoga, however, changed the expression of 111 circulating immune cells.

Overall, the researchers noted that the health benefits of yoga were far more widespread than those achieved by “exercise plus simple relaxation”—nature walks and music.  According to the team, yoga’s impact on health came from “different changes at the molecular level.”

Based on the results of previous research studies, it’s likely many of the genetic changes that stemmed from the yoga sessions were sparked by a breathing exercise called sudarshan kriya.

Breathe Out Stress, and Breathe in Health and Wellness 

Sudarshan kriya, a unique breathing technique, uses specific natural breath rhythms to harmonize the body… mind… and emotions.  The breath links the mind to the body, quite literally.  European researchers have already proven that each emotion has a distinct breathing pattern.  The reverse is true as well—breathing in a specific pattern can conjure the corresponding emotion.

The technique cleanses the system by releasing daily and accumulated stress.  Evidence shows it significantly increases prolactin, a well-being hormone, from the very first session.